TV

Movie Stars, Returning Favorites, Depressed Cartoon Horses: The Uproxx 2018 Fall TV Preview


fall tv preview 2018
Amazon/Netflix/NBC

There are a lot of television shows. Perhaps you’ve heard, or noticed, when a friend comes up to you and tells you about a show they love and you say “Oh, is that new?” only to find out it’s in the middle of its fourth season. It’s hard enough to keep up with the shows that are out there currently, let alone the flurry of exciting new ones that premiere every week or two throughout the year. That’s where we come in. We are here to help. Welcome to the Uproxx 2018 Fall TV Preview.

Below, our crew of TV experts — Brian Grubb, Pilot Viruet, and Josh Kurp — has highlighted some of the most intriguing new and returning shows. Julia Roberts and Jim Carrey are coming to television. Old favorites like BoJack and The Good Place are back. Matthew Weiner and Kurt Sutter have new shows. Again, it’s a lot to sort through. Consider this a first step in the process.

Then, below that, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the announced premiere dates between today and December. Need to know when your preferred iteration of NCIS comes back? We got you. Want to know when your favorite sitcom or Chicago-based municipal service drama returns? Those are down there, too. We can figure all of this out if we do it together.

Let’s give it a shot.

Disenchantment (August 17, Netflix)

It’s hard not comparing Disenchantment to other shows. It’s from the creator of The Simpsons and Futurama… on the same streaming service as fellow animated series BoJack Horseman and Big Mouth (both of which are fantastic for VERY different reasons)… with a fantasy setting that invites comparisons to Game of Thrones. But, despite some early tone-setting bumps along the way, Disenchantment is very much its own thing.

Set in the fictional and very violent kingdom of Dreamland, Disenchantment follows slacker princess Bean (voiced by Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson), who’d rather drink with her friends, the ever-optimistic elf Elfo (Nat Faxon) and an agent-of-chaos demon named LucI (Eric Andre), than get married. The rest of the cast is made up of a who’s-who of Simpsons and Futurama voices, including John DiMaggio, Tress MacNeille, Maurice LaMarche, and Billy West. There’s enough potential in the early episodes to believe that Disenchantment will live happily ever after. — Josh Kurp

Jack Ryan (August 31, Amazon)

The Jack Ryan character has, in the past, been played by everyone from Harrison Ford to Alec Baldwin to Ben Affleck in your various Patriot Games and Hunts for Red October. Now he’s coming to television and personified by John Krasinski. The former Office star and Quiet Place director plays a young version of the familiar CIA operative, one who is just transitioning to field work under a new boss played by Wendell Pierce (The Wire). And yes, “transitioning to field work” means he starts out working in an office. It’s entirely unfair to chain Krasinski to the role that made him famous, and kudos to him for branching out to try cool new stuff, but if he turns and looks into the camera even one time we are changing the name of this show to Jim Halpert: Shadow Recruit. I’m sorry, but rules are rules. — Brian Grubb

Mayans M.C. (September 4, FX)

When Better Call Saul was first announced, the idea that it would someday be just as great as, if not better, than Breaking Bad was unimaginable. And yet, here we are. Could the same thing happen with Mayans M.C.? Sons of Anarchy was a rollercoaster of season-to-season quality, but when it was good, like in season two, it was goooooood. So far, it sounds like co-creator Kurt Sutter is making the right decisions. Mayans, which follows the Mayans Motorcycle Club, is set in a “post-Jax Teller world,” but it still features at least one Sons character in Marcus Álvarez (expect some other faces from the original series, though). Sutter also handed over some creative control to a diverse writers’ room. “I knew a white guy from Jersey should not be writing solely about Latino culture,” he said. He could do without the green screen (of death), too. — Josh Kurp

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (September 5, FXX)

The previous season of Always Sunny threw the show’s status quo for a loop in a few ways. Mac finally came out of the closet. Dennis had a kid and left Philadelphia. Charlie… no, Charlie is still Charlie. And all of that is fine. It’ll be fun to see how the show handles this new information and if it can maintain the quality that it’s had for over a decade now. But for me, the television junkie who also happens to be a lifelong fan of Philadelphia’s local professional sports franchises, the only thing about the upcoming season that matters is this sentence from a recent press release:

“Frank goes to great lengths for the Gang to experience the greatest moment in Philadelphia sports history – an Eagles Super Bowl victory.”

Riot punches on the house. — Brian Grubb

Kidding (September 9, Showtime)

Kidding is notable for two main reasons, at least in its pre-premiere state. The first is that the basic premise of the show is something along the lines of “What if Mr. Rogers had a mental breakdown and became clinically depressed?” The other is that this broken version of Mr. Rogers will be played by Jim Carrey. Carrey has not done television since his In Living Color days and, while Kidding is still kind of a comedy (it was created by David Holstein, whose previous credits include Weeds, if that helps), the better tip-off to its style and tone is that Carrey’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind-collaborator Michael Gondry directs all the episodes of the first season. There are a lot of intriguing words in this paragraph so far and that’s before we get to words like “co-starring Catherine Keener and Judy Greer” and “Carrey’s character is named Mr. Pickles.” Definitely worth checking out, even if it’s just out of curiosity. — Brian Grubb

The Deuce (September 9, HBO)

It’s not exactly a surprise that The Deuce is a good show. It’s an HBO series from David Simon about the rise of pornography and it stars two James Francos and one Maggie Gyllenhaal and a ton of people you recognize from The Wire, including Method Man, who plays a 1970s pimp. You could do a lot worse than that if you were dreamcasting a prestige-type drama. The first season was mostly a foundational layer, with both Francos (he’s playing twins, one a straight shooter and one a sleazeball) getting waist-deep into organized crime and Gyllenhaal’s character starting her rise from Times Square sex worker to East Coast porno tycoon.

Simon and his team have such a great track record and feel when it comes to these types of stories about society’s underbelly (and what that underbelly says and reveals about the rest of society’s body) that there’s no reason to be anything less than excited about where this goes in season two. And you really should see Method Man as a 1970s pimp. So there are a few reasons to watch. — Brian Grubb

American Vandal (September 14, Netflix)

TURD BURGLAR!

BoJack Horseman (September 14, Netflix)

Arguably the best animated series currently airing, BoJack Horseman is, at once, a comedy that manages to accurately portray depression, throw viewers into frequent existential crises, and provide an endless amount of animal puns — which will surely continue in season five. The last season was a bit of a departure, occasionally putting BoJack aside to spend more time with the women (particularly Princess Carolyn) and their places in the world, while also ending with the most hopeful finale of the show’s run. Although Netflix is tight-lipped on details, the next season looks to be just as interesting — and heartbreaking — with some new voices (that I won’t dare spoil here) and, as creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg teased, more focus on Diane’s background. — Pilot Viruet

Maniac (September 21, Netflix)

What, exactly, is Maniac? Great question. I’m glad I asked it. The short answer is “a new dark comedy about psychological issues and mysterious pharmaceutical tests that stars Jonah Hill and Emma Stone as test subjects and Justin Theroux as an eccentric doctor named James Mantleray and was directed in its entirety by Cary Fukunaga.” The longer answer is “everything from the short answer plus an explanation about how it looks weird and unsettling and fascinating and also co-stars Sally Field.” There’s always a high-wire aspect to these types of ambitious series. It’s great if you can make it across. But if there’s a stumble and a wobble things can get dicey real fast. This looks really interesting, though, so fingers crossed. — Brian Grubb

9-1-1 (September 23, Fox)

9-1-1 burst on the scene last year with a baby in a toilet pipe 10 minutes into its premiere and never looked back. The latest network series from Ryan Murphy was really, impressively, apologetically wild. It was kind of fun. Bounce houses floated away with children in them, Angela Bassett shot a dude who was (allegedly) high on bath salts, Connie Britton performed an emergency Valentine’s Day tracheotomy on her 25-year-old sex addict firefighter date. That’s not even all of the things that happened. It’s not even close, to be honest. There were two different plane crashes and none of the first responders on the show mentioned the first crash during the second one, like it’s so common it’s not even worth mentioning. I could go on.

Season two returns this fall and brings with it two questions: How will the show replace the departing Connie Britton and how can it possibly top the first season? And the answers to those questions appear to be “with Jennifer Love Hewitt” and “well, there’s an earthquake in the teaser for the new season, so…” Good to have you back, 9-1-1. — Brian Grubb

The Good Place (September 27, NBC)

NBC

Michael Schur, you tremendous bastard. After upending expectations in The Good Place’s twisty season one finale, the Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine creator did it again in season two. Not only did the final episode have Ted Danson playing a bartender on an acclaimed NBC sitcom for the first time since a little show called Cheers, it also wiped the show’s timeline clean. (Schur told Rolling Stone that he’d “rather leave a place, or a premise, too early than too late.”) Eleanor, Chidi, Tahani, and Jason now have another chance to do good (place) in the world, but will they take advantage of getting a second chance at life? One thing’s for sure: Jason’s going to be very happy with the Jacksonville Jaguars. — Josh Kurp

Murphy Brown (September 27, CBS)

OK, sure, there is really no need for another reboot/revival/sequel/whatever of an old sitcom but since networks insist on greenlighting them, at least Murphy Brown is one of the better choices. During the last two months, I raced through seven of the 10 original seasons and it became clear why Murphy Brown was given new life in 2018. It grappled with feminism, motherhood, politics (oh boy does it love politics), and, of course, news media — all topics that demand even more attention now. Sure, there are a lot of older episodes that don’t hold up and sure, there are bound to be a lot of poorly-written jokes with “fake news!” as the punchline but, well, it’s at least guaranteed to go over better than Roseanne. (Don’t quote me on that.) Plus, if nothing else, Murphy Brown 2.0 is providing a necessary service: Bringing Greek’s Jake McDorman back to my television screen (because Limitless and Manhattan Love Story don’t count). — Pilot Viruet

God Friended Me (September 30, CBS)

Every fall TV season, there is one show that looks terrible but that I know I will become bizarrely obsessed with. This year, it’s God Friended Me, a “humorous, uplifting” drama with a title that sounds like it was once pitched as a throwaway joke in the 30 Rock‘s writers room. Brandon Micheal Hall (a good comedic actor from last year’s The Mayor) stars as a podcast host/atheist who receives a friend request from God and … well, honestly, that’s all I need to know. The trailer features everything I love to hate in a series: ridiculous coincidences, Tinder jokes, an unnecessary car accident, and moments that are so earnest I shrieked with laughter. Is it possible God Friended Me could become actually good in the vein of Joan Of Arcadia? Sure! Is it more likely that it’ll fail as quickly as Living Biblically? Absolutely. — Pilot Viruet

Big Mouth (TBD, Netflix)

The first season of Big Mouth — the animated coming-of-age series from Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg — was really just a delight. It was funny and honest and sweet. It featured the voices of all your favorite comedy-types, from Kroll to John Mulaney to Jordan Peele to Maya Rudolph, who played a female hormone monster and delivered some of the most enjoyable voiceover work you’ll ever hear. It was so very, very foul, but in a charming way, a way that felt true to show about hormone-ravaged middle school students. It was a good show. We are blessed to have it back for another season. If you haven’t seen the first season, please remedy that. Just make sure you have your headphones in. — Brian Grubb

The Romanoffs (October 12, Amazon)

Instead of explaining the globe-trotting plot of Amazon’s The Romanoffs, Matthew Weiner’s first post-Mad Men project, I’m just going to list the (partial) cast: Christina Hendricks (Joan!), John Slattery (Roger!), Jay R. Ferguson (STAN!), Isabelle Huppert, Kathryn Hahn, Kerry Bishé, Jack Huston, Amanda Peet, Aaron Eckhart, Corey Stoll, Ron Livingston, Marthe Keller, Andrew Rannells, Diane Lane, Annet Mahendru, Mary Kay Place, David Sutcliffe, and Paul Reiser. This will either be a masterpiece or a Crisis in Six Scenes-level disaster. I can’t wait to find out. — Josh Kurp

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (October 12, The CW)

As someone who tends to break out in hives of secondhand embarrassment when people sing in musicals, the fact that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is one of my favorite shows on TV is a true testament to how fantastic it is. Last season was perfectly weird and dark, giving Rebecca a diagnosis while also dipping a bit into Fatal Attraction territory, before confidently painting itself in a corner that’ll require some ingenuity to get out of. But if any show can do it, it’s Crazy Ex. Co-creators Rachel Bloom and Aline Brosh McKenna have previously stated that they mapped out a four-season arc with a finite ending — now, in its final season, we’ll get to see what that plan is. As they hinted at TCA, season four will include a reimagining of Greg, a premiere written by Bloom, more group numbers, and — yep — a new theme song. — Pilot Viruet

The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (October 26, Netflix)

There haven’t been many details revealed about Netflix’s Sabrina series (which was picked up for two seasons), but I still have high hopes for it. For one, the comic series written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (also the show’s EP) has been creepy and enthralling, giving us a newer and much darker look at the iconic character. (I highly recommend checking it out while waiting for the October premiere.) Plus, it stars Mad Men‘s Kiernan Shipka — a perfect choice — and has been marketed as more Rosemary’s Baby than the ’90s Melissa Joan Hart comedy. While there are currently no plans to have a crossover with CW’s Riverdale (although it’s not out of the question), it’s actually good news as it allows Sabrina to exist as a standalone series that creates it’s own supernatural world where witchcraft and the occult are the norm. — Pilot Viruet

House of Cards (November 2, Netflix)

Netflix’s longest-running original series is doing what it should have done years ago, even before the streaming service fired Kevin Spacey (who’s been accused of sexual assault by more than a dozen men): House of Cards is now Robin Wright’s show. Claire Underwood is the president of the United States of America, and that turn-of-events ought to light a creative spark for the show’s sixth and final season. There’s certainly enough real-world political drama for House of Cards to mine (even if there’s not a woman in the actual Oval Office). It was actually Wright who saved the show, too. “Robin led all of this charge so that people would save their livelihoods, because when the show goes away, some people don’t get paid,” co-star Patricia Clarkson said. “I think it’s going to be a stunning, stunning new season and I’m thankful for it.” — Josh Kurp

Homecoming (November 2, Amazon)

A recurring theme of this fall’s new shows is “a famous film actor comes to television to star in a show helmed by an intriguing auteur.” Jim Carrey with Michael Gondry, Jonah Hill and Emma Stone with Cary Fukunaga, etc. Well, to those we can also add freaking Julia Roberts and Mr. Robot creator Sam Esmail. There’s not a ton out there about the show yet, beyond the fact that it’s a psychological thriller starring Roberts as a caseworker at a secret government facility, but this is all very nuts to think about. Not bad. Not bad at all. Just nuts. Think about it this way: Julia Roberts and the creator of a USA drama are making a deep dark television show for the same website where you can buy canned soup in bulk. Peak TV is something else. — Brian Grubb

The Little Drummer Girl (November 19, AMC)

The Walking Dead is getting most of the hype, but there’s another AMC series to look out for this fall. Based on John le Carré’s spy novel of the same name, The Little Drummer Girl is a six-part miniseries from Park Chan-wook (the visionary director of Oldboy and The Handmaiden) starring Alexander Skarsgård (yes), Florence Pugh (YES), and Michael Shannon (YES YES YES). The late ’70s thriller is described with such words as “suspenseful” and “explosive” and “mysterious,” all of which sounds great, but if you weren’t already hooked by “Park Chan-wook show with Michael Shannon,” I don’t know what to tell you. — Josh Kurp

Below is a list of all the shows currently slated to debut through the end of 2018.

August

August 17

Disenchantment (Netflix)
Pinky Malinky (Netflix)
Spirit: Riding Free (Netflix)
Ultraviolet (Netflix)
WE Day (ABC)

August 18

Esme & Roy (HBO)
Lover in the Attic (Lifetime)
2018 MTV Video Music Awards (MTV)

August 20

Carpool Karaoke: When Corden Met McCartney Live from Liverpool (CBS)
Mystery Road (Acorn)
X Company (Ovation)

August 22

Mr. Mercedes (AT&T)

August 23

Deadwind (Netflix)
Follow This (Netflix)
Jersey Shore Family Vacation (MTV)
Rob Riggle’s Ski Master Academy (Sony Crackle)

August 24

Ask the StoryBots (Netflix)
Bert Kreischer: Secret Time (Netflix)
Ghoul (Netflix)
The Innocents (Netflix)
Safe Harbour (Hulu)
Crime + Punishment (Hulu)

August 25

Drew Michael (HBO)

August 27

Tangled Lies (Acorn)

August 28

Greenleaf (OWN)

August 30

One Dollar (CBS All Access)

August 31

Jack Ryan (Amazon)
The Comedy Lineup (Netflix)
Ozark (Netflix)
Paradise PD (Netflix)
The Laws of Thermodynamics (Netflix)

September

September 4

Mayans M.C. (FX)
The Purge (USA)

September 5

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (FXX)

September 6

I Love You, America (Hulu)

September 7

Atypical (Netflix)
Cable Girls (Netflix)
Marvel’s Iron Fist (Netflix)

September 9

The Deuce (HBO)
Kidding (Showtime)
The Last Ship (TNT)
The Miniaturist (PBS)
Rel (Fox)
Shameless (Showtime)
You (Lifetime)

September 12

American Horror Story: Apocalypse (FX)
Life (Netflix)

September 13

Snatch (Sony Crackle)

September 14

BoJack Horseman (Netflix)
American Vandal (Netflix)
The Dragon Prince (Netflix)
The First (Hulu)
Forever (Amazon)
Ingobernable (Netflix)

September 16

The Circus (Showtime)

September 17

70th Primetime Emmy Awards (NBC)
Inside the Manson Cult: The Lost Tapes (Fox)

September 20

Dead Lucky (Sundance)

September 21

Dragon Pilot (Netflix)
The Good Cop (Netflix)
Maniac (Netflix)

September 23

9-1-1 (Fox)

September 24

The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Young Sheldon (CBS)
Bull (CBS)
Magnum P.I. (CBS)
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
The Good Doctor (ABC)
Manifest (NBC)
The Resident (Fox)

September 25

FBI (CBS)
NCIS (CBS)
NCIS: New Orleans (CBS)
The Gifted (Fox)
Lethal Weapon (Fox)
Mr. Inbetween (FX)
New Amsterdam (NBC)
This Is Us (NBC)

September 26

The Goldbergs (ABC)
A Million Little Things (ABC)
Modern Family (ABC)
Single Parents (ABC)
American Housewife (ABC)
Survivor (CBS)
Chicago Fire (NBC)
Chicago Med (NBC)
Chicago P.D. (NBC)
Empire (Fox)
Star (Fox)
South Park (Comedy Central)

September 27

The Good Place (NBC)
Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
Grey’s Anatomy (ABC)
How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)
Mom (CBS)
Murphy Brown (CBS)
S.W.A.T. (CBS)

September 28

Blue Bloods (CBS)
Hawaii Five-0 (CBS)
MacGyver (CBS)
Chef’s Table (Netflix)
The Cool Kids (Fox)
Last Man Standing (Fox)

September 30

Bob’s Burgers (Fox)
Family Guy (Fox)
Rel (Fox, regular timeslot)
The Simpsons (Fox)
God Friended Me (CBS)
NCIS Los Angeles (CBS)
Poldark (PBS)



October

October 1

Happy Together (CBS)
The Neighborhood (CBS)

October 3

Criminal Minds (CBS)
SEAL Team (CBS)

October 4

Station 19 (ABC)
I Feel Bad (NBC)
Superstore (NBC)
Will & Grace (NBC)

October 5

Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)
Speechless (ABC)
Into the Dark (Hulu)
The Man in the High Castle (Amazon)

October 6

Flight of the Conchords: Live at the London Apollo (HBO)
Versailles (Ovation)

October 7

Madam Secretary (CBS)
The Walking Dead (AMC)

October 9

Black Lightning (CW)
The Flash (CW)

October 10

All American (CW)
Riverdale (CW)

October 11
Supernatural (CW)

October 12

Blindspot (NBC)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (CW)
Dynasty (CW)
Light as a Feather (Hulu)
The Romanoffs (Amazon)

October 14

Camping (HBO)
Charmed (CW)
Supergirl (CW)

October 15

Arrow (CW)

October 16

Black-ish (ABC)
The Conners (ABC)
The Kids Are Alright (ABC)
The Rookie (ABC)
Splitting Up Together (ABC)

October 19

Lore (Amazon)

October 22

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (CW)

October 25

Legacies (CW)

October 26

Castlevania (Netflix)
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix)
Midnight (NBC)

October 28

Ray Donovan (Showtime)

October 31

Stan Against Evil (IFC)
Tell Me a Story (CBS All Access)

November

November 2

Homecoming (Amazon)
House of Cards (Netflix)

November 12

Mars (Nat Geo)

November 16

The Kominsky Method (Netflix)

November 18

Escape at Dannemora (Showtime)

November 28

Vikings (History)

December

December 21

Marvel’s Runaways (Hulu)

December 30

The Orville (Fox)

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